Studio space Wildlife

Visuals for Project Pigeon Watch


19 February 2012

Colour morphs (as part of project pigeon watch, 2011)
Colour morphs (as part of project pigeon watch, 2011)
 Courting Pigeons (as part of project pigeon watch, 2011)
Courting Pigeons (as part of project pigeon watch, 2011)

Colour morphs (as part of project pigeon watch, 2011), is a sculpture that uses cable ties to represent the average number and colour of pigeons over a year.

I had many different ideas for a visual representation, including bar charts (using photographs taken during my observations of pigeons), paper beaks, plaster casts of pigeon feet (there’s a pair in my studio!), coloured strips of vinyl measuring the same distance of a pigeons wing span, repeat patterns to represent the shape and movement of bird flight and many more… but the cable tie sculpture was something that I was able to create instantly in my studio as a starting point to fuel other works.

Observing pigeons may not sound like the most interesting and exciting subject matter, but I’ve found it a great opportunity to connect with nature. Even though pigeons are an urban bird, domesticated by humans it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are less interesting and intelligent than other rare and beautiful birds. Through observing pigeons and meeting pigeon fanciers I’ve learnt that they are one of the most intelligent birds, with an important social and political history, (as messengers with excellent navigation skills and the capacity to learn), making them familiar with mankind, even if they are not as well-loved as they once were.

Courting Pigeons (as part of project pigeon watch, 2011) is a work in progress. Each plastic bag represents a pigeon and is filled with one pound of bird grit (the average weight of a pigeon). A selection of filled bags are positioned on top of each other (in courting positions) and some balanced on top of glass jars containing a liquid to represent crop milk (which is secreted by both male and female pigeons to feed their young). Im hoping to collect more jars and fill more plastic bags to a total of 79 to create an installation in my studio space.

Lucy Stevens is an artist whose environmental soundscapes and visual art investigates the relationship between humanity and nature.

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